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Alternate root user.
Setting in KDE.
NickCoons




msg:912996
 7:50 am on Feb 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been using *nix for almost a decade now, and one of the minor security techniques I implement is renaming the root user. Well, technically, I add another user and set it's uid/gid to 0/0, then I reset root's password to something unbelievably complicated (at least 25 characters long, alpha/number/symbol), and then I never use it again. I use the alternate-root user instead, since it has all of the same privileges. This experience has all been with server-side administration.

I'm new to the client side, and have just switched my laptop to Linux recently and it's working very well.. haven't had really any problems (I'm hardcore Slackware and will probably always be that way, so I've built all of my own packages for this install).

As I maneuver through the system, I'll try to make changes that require me to enter the root password. Instead of prompting me for the root password, I'd prefer that it prompts me for the alternate-root password. Does anyone know how to make this change? Can it be done through configuration, or is it hard-coded?

 

Josk




msg:912997
 4:25 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have you heard of sudo?

NickCoons




msg:912998
 4:58 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

<Have you heard of sudo?>

Of course, but I think you may have misinterpreted my question (or I misinterpreted the meaning behind yours).

I know how to switch to root, but I don't want to switch to root.. I want to switch to altroot. Here's an example. When I right-click on the clock and say that I want to change the time, it tells me that I need root privileges and to enter root's password. But I don't want to be prompted for root's password, I want to be prompted for altroot's password, because "altroot" is my system's root username (it's not actually "altroot", I'm just using that as an example for the purpose of this discussion).

Josk




msg:912999
 10:56 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why set up an alternative root? You're just setting up second root user. Now you have a system that is twice as insecure...
Sudo lets you allow trusted users to perform commands as if they were root. Its not the same as switching to root. Just gives you privaleges for a while before switching back.

NickCoons




msg:913000
 5:32 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

< Why set up an alternative root? You're just setting up second root user. Now you have a system that is twice as insecure...>

That's not true.. it makes the system more secure. The first root user is disabled. If someone attempts an attack, they're going to try to log in as the user "root" if they want to do real damage. This is yet another layer of security, since it's impossible to log in as root on my system. The attacker would have to know the username of the altroot.

<Sudo lets you allow trusted users to perform commands as if they were root. Its not the same as switching to root. Just gives you privaleges for a while before switching back.>

I use sudo on a regular basis, but it doesn't apply here. I have no problem accomplishing tasks that need root permissions; that's not my question.

My question is regarding KDE. When I try to perform certain tasks in KDE, like right-clicking on the clock and clicking on "Adjust Date & Time", it prompts for root's password. I don't want it to prompt me for root's password (because that user is disabled). I want it to prompt me altroot's password.

I am not talking about changing the system time specifically, because I can do that easily enough with sudo in a terminal. I'm talking about globally.. I want KDE to prompt me for altroot's password whenever it would normally prompt for root's password.

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